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 Post subject: On-Train Toilets
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:12 am 

Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 9:06 pm
Posts: 2164
Location: Thomaston & White Plains
Would anyone be willing to share information/experiences with on-board toilets and sanitary systems in the context of an operating excursion train? Trip is about 1.5 hrs on our line.

We are operating 1920s heavyweight CNR coaches; a couple have the original (small) toilet room at the extreme end of the car (outboard of the car's trucks). No fixtures inside the rooms. We need something that will fit into that space.

We operate in a below-freezing environment, using forced-hot air heat only when train is operating. Cars are parked for days, with no ability for heating them. So, something using water (or needing a glycol-water mix) would not be suitable.

We want something that is relatively robust and simple to operate-- soccer mom, grandpa, a 12-year old, should be able to easily operate the toilet and not break it. I looked at "Incinolets" and they seem to require each user to place a consumable paper "tray" in the toilet before each use. That seems too complicated.

What do the various operations use? I know that 40s-50s lightweight cars usually have large toilet rooms, and cars with one vestibule usually have plenty of room for a holding tank under the blind end of the car. That's difficult for us.

So, what do you guys do?

Thanks,

Howard P.
RMNE/NAUG
Thomaston, Conn.

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 Post subject: Re: On-Train Toilets
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:31 am 

Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2016 9:35 pm
Posts: 67
Howard,

One solution to this issue is the following.

An RV / Pedal operated toilet with the water supply from a small-ish tank mounted where the wall meets the ceiling. Piping is needed to route the waste out along to the edge of the car body, basically around the truck, and then down to a holding tank.

The supply tank would be filled from the inside of the car through the use of a hose or any other means possible. A valve on the bottom of the tank would allow for draining as need for freezing weather or a small heater might be able to keep the toilet room just above freezing.

I hope that helps. I have seen the setup in warmer climates but I'm not sure have your winters would effect it.


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 Post subject: Re: On-Train Toilets
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:56 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:07 am
Posts: 660
Location: Philadelphia Pa
Check and see what exactly the Wilmington and Western uses....It's similar to what hotbox described, in former 1914-1917 era DL&W coaches. It replaced the camper buckets they used to have.

I think you're going to have trouble finding exactly what you want...Because most "Friendly" systems have to use water... freezing is going to be an issue with any system outside of a bagged system, if you don't somehow keep them warm.... And even with that, there is only so much chemical you can use in a water system before you become lethal....Well, more lethal than what's "naturally" deposited in the system. . Lol


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 Post subject: Re: On-Train Toilets
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 10:10 am 

Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 10:22 am
Posts: 427
I have had some success using automotive window washer fluid in portable RV type toilets at lower temperatures.

The main problem was lack of capacity.

- Hudson


Last edited by HudsonL on Fri Jan 27, 2017 10:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: On-Train Toilets
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 10:15 am 

Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 10:22 am
Posts: 427
Also suggest "hubless" pipe fittings so you can take it apart with a screwdriver when it clogs out on the road.

And cheap canned dog food is a good "test media".

- Hudson


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 Post subject: Re: On-Train Toilets
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 10:35 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:18 am
Posts: 109
Location: B'more MD
I don't have any great ideas, Howard, about your freezing problem, however I second HudsonL's comment about clean outs. You can't have too many clean outs!

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Baltimore, MD


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 Post subject: Re: On-Train Toilets
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 11:21 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5250
Location: southeastern USA
Move the operation south for the winter, or limit the trip length such that there's no need of onboard facilities.

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 Post subject: Re: On-Train Toilets
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 1:52 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:43 am
Posts: 419
Location: Floyd, AR
I vote for the incinolet. Quick and easy and from what i can see a common item in railcars. Put good signs up and just take it upon yourselves to drop a liner in at every opportunity as well. It does need power for about 2 hours after the last customer deposits.

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Robert Longhofer,
Board Member, Cotton Belt Rail Historical Society, Arkansas Railroad Museum, steam engine SSW819.
Any information or opinions I express are my own, and are not the views of the CBRHS or anyone else, unless explicitly stated otherwise.


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 Post subject: Re: On-Train Toilets
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 2:07 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2016 7:05 pm
Posts: 67
Howard - reminder of the previous thread - viewtopic.php?f=1&t=38586&p=238901&hilit=valley+toilets#p238901.

J. David specified their use of chemicals, which apparently works well in environmental conditions similar to yours. The antifreeze is Pahnol, and there is only one version that is non-toxic in their catalog. http://www.houghton.com/antifreeze/pahnol-non-toxic/ We used local camping supply chems this past season but will probably switch to the Valley formula this year.

We recently installed two of the new smaller MEI toilets (ME229B). They are small enough to fit in just about any toilet room, with a footprint of 17" x 24.47". They are similar to the larger capacity ME219, with a more user friendly height but with the trade off in capacity. We piped directly to ME504 (3") dump valves until we decide we need holding tanks. The hose gives volume to dump/refill the toilet in between truck services to increase cycle capacity (depends on hose length of course). Without having the actual numbers yet, I understand we easily covered 8000 passengers between servicing with the current set-up. Non-train toilets cover most of the load with the on-boards for more or less 'emergency' use during sold-out events. A single installation cost about $1800 total (without labor).

The MEI toilets are all stainless steel and require nothing more than pumping the handle to operate. You can also get them vented, along with vent fans to suck any odor out if you want to go that far. http://www.motiveequipment.com/locomoti ... ve-toilets

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Last edited by TrainDetainer on Sat Jan 28, 2017 4:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: On-Train Toilets
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 4:02 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 9:05 pm
Posts: 663
Location: MA
A recreational vehicle toilet should work, for freezing conditions they sell anti-freeze to go into the holding tank. No need to reinvent the wheel and your local RV dealer should be able to help. If you want to go even more robust try pokeing around for supliers for the toilets they use on commercial buses, your locsl Peter Pan or Greyhound bus garage could point you in the right place.


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 Post subject: Re: On-Train Toilets
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 5:36 pm 

Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 9:55 pm
Posts: 252
Location: San Diego area
Isn't wheelchair access an issue? We've been told that unless it is fully ADA accessible, we cannot have toilets on board. In the past we have used a regular port a pot in a baggage car, but discontinued that because of the ADA issue. Toilet rooms in DLW coaches are way too small for that.


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 Post subject: Re: On-Train Toilets
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 5:56 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:07 am
Posts: 660
Location: Philadelphia Pa
Jim Baker wrote:
Isn't wheelchair access an issue? We've been told that unless it is fully ADA accessible, we cannot have toilets on board. In the past we have used a regular port a pot in a baggage car, but discontinued that because of the ADA issue. Toilet rooms in DLW coaches are way too small for that.


I'd imagine that since they're probably grandfathered in by age, and the bathrooms already existed and are not new construction, changing out the fixtures should not incur any ADA problems.

Having the desire to be accommodating the handicapped as best as possible aside, there are plenty of tourist roads using the original as built bathrooms/closets, with much of the equipment discussed in this thread, with no issues. Now, if you tube a car and start from scratch, then you might run into an issue.


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 Post subject: Re: On-Train Toilets
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 6:04 pm 

Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2016 9:35 pm
Posts: 67
Quote:
Isn't wheelchair access an issue? We've been told that unless it is fully ADA accessible, we cannot have toilets on board. In the past we have used a regular port a pot in a baggage car, but discontinued that because of the ADA issue. Toilet rooms in DLW coaches are way too small for that.


I would check again with whomever gave you that information. Most passenger cars in museum and tourist service should be grandfathered in.

In a lot of places the whole train is an ADA issue. If they can't get up on the train, through the narrow passageways or tight corners then an ADA toilet really does them no good.


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 Post subject: Re: On-Train Toilets
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 6:20 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:37 pm
Posts: 244
Location: Niles Canyon Railway, near Sunol, CA
If somehow the water freezing problem can be solved - add drain valves to toilet tanks and supply plumbing, heavily insulate a large supply tank, add heat tape to supply lines and provide shore power while parked?, and/or etc - then here is a recommended toilet:

Niles Canyon Railway's snackbar-generator-restroom car, S.P. 6719, was converted from a S.P. class 66-B-2 "economy" baggage car, built 1962. An electric 120VAC 1-phase pump supplies pressurized water from a under-the-floor 250 gallon tank to the toilets. Each restroom has a household flush toilet and a small sink. 2-1/2 years ago, we switched to ultra-low-flow (0.8 gallons/flush) household round-bowl "stealth" model toilets made by Niagara Conservation https://niagaracorp.com/stealth/. Our local Ace Hardware store sells these for $250 each complete. The toilets have proven remarkably reliable, clogging only rarely. On our holiday Train of Lights operations, these toilets are in constant use. The low water usage doubled our working range before the holding tank reached capacity. Highly recommended.

- Doug Debs


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 Post subject: Re: On-Train Toilets
PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 11:47 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 2:14 pm
Posts: 457
Location: Essex, Connecticut, USA
Greetings:
An update to the aforementioned "valley+toilets" thread.
Valley now has 9 of the MPI toilets in service (all 5 First Class cars & 4 of 9 coaches).
We continue to be pleased with them (customer acceptance, ease of servicing and fairly low maintenance).
A couple of comments:
1) I am glad to learn of a smaller size being available, these might be better for use in our ex-Lackawanna coaches.
2) During our 2016 "North Pole Express" and Santa Special" schedule (35 days), we ran up to 11 trains per day (two train sets) and carried over 75,000 customers with no toilet "capacity" issues.
3) Due to "hours of service" issues, our train crew no longer services the toilets during our Xmas schedule, this was done by the cleaning crew.
4) We keep two complete units, three extra tops, plus spare gaskets, seals and valve parts in stock so that even on a Sunday morning, the "mechanic on duty" (occasionally ME!), can deal with any issue and get the train out on time (with all toilets working).
J.David


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